newbie with lots of questions

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by bethanyann3780, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. bethanyann3780

    bethanyann3780 New Egg

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    Mar 14, 2015
    I am a first time chicken owner who is trying to build my coop and I have alot of questions. I seems like every where I look or read has a different opinion. . So I guess I'm asking for more so here it goes

    1. I don't have a garage or basement so I will be keeping my brooder box inside. how much mess will it make?

    2. Because I don't have much room inside I want to move them outside as soon as possible. Is 4 weeks to young to move them into a coop with a heating lamp (I know the fire risk but just until they are big enough)?

    3. I built my brooder pretty secure but I have cats and dogs inside. WIL it drive them crazy if I keep the birds inside?

    4. I have heard anywhere between 2-6sq ft per chicken for the coop size. I am getting 6 chicks I was planning on a 4x4 coop to make it easier with lumber and plywood (that is most often 4x8)with nesting boxes on the outside.also I am what you could call a "suburban" farmer so yard space is limited. Is this too small?

    5. I plan on my run being 4x12. I live I a very wet area and sometimes my yard has large puddles. I was thinking to help wit mud laying down med size gravel for drainage then added a layer of sand.is this okay for the chickens?

    6.I live in southwest Pennsylvania and winters here are cold and snowy. My run will be covered. Should I insulate the coop?

    Bonus question
    I am also a beekeeper and I have two hives which will be close to the coop. Do the bees bother the chickens and/or will the chickens bother the bees?
     
  2. hmkeea

    hmkeea Out Of The Brooder

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  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    1. I don't have a garage or basement so I will be keeping my brooder box inside. how much mess will it make?

    Even baby chicks forage, scratch and make a lot of dust. A lot of folks brood them inside. If you have an unused bathroom or laundry room, those would be the best choices. If not, try to pick a room that is not really used so you don't have to live with the dust. Get a brooder set up larger than you expect, even at 4 weeks they will be larger than you expect. IMO about twice the size textbooks recommend. I started with the recommended size and had to get a larger one when they were less than 2 weeks old.

    2. Because I don't have much room inside I want to move them outside as soon as possible. Is 4 weeks to young to move them into a coop with a heating lamp (I know the fire risk but just until they are big enough)?

    The rule of 5-6 weeks is so they are fully feathered to tolerate the change in temps. Moving them out at 4 weeks, you will need to continue heating lamp. You could look at getting your chicks later so by the time they are 4 weeks the outdoor temps would be more optimal? Make sure your lamp cannot fall and cannot burn the chicks. And if you don't have committed power to the coop that extension cords are plugged into outlet with fuses so if something fails, it will kick off the power.


    3. I built my brooder pretty secure but I have cats and dogs inside. WIL it drive them crazy if I keep the birds inside?

    Secure is a must. But feeling secure is also a necessity. Stress will cause problems. I would not let cats or dogs around them without supervision. Again, picking a room you can shut off would be the best solution.

    4. I have heard anywhere between 2-6sq ft per chicken for the coop size. I am getting 6 chicks I was planning on a 4x4 coop to make it easier with lumber and plywood (that is most often 4x8)with nesting boxes on the outside.also I am what you could call a "suburban" farmer so yard space is limited. Is this too small?

    IMO 4x4 is too small, especially considering your weather. You can expect with bad weather they will need to be coop confined. Go larger than you think. A full grown chicken occupies the space of a 5 gallon bucket = 12 inches wide and 12-15 inches tall… just standing still. Likely you will need your feeder and water fount inside the coop and they also occupy the same amt of space as a chicken. Mark off your planned 4x4 with string on the floor. add objects to represent the chickens, water, feeder…and see what I mean. I live in GA and my 6 hens are never coop confined, but all go in to help me with weekly cleaning - they fill it up and my coop is 5x5 feet - without feed,water, nests.

    Roost positions are also an issue. Full sized hens will need 8-12" roost space. IMO the 12 in is best. You will need 2 roosts - they should be at least 2 feet apart so they can jump up and down for access. Stair stepped are an option. Best to place roosts at least 18 inches off the walls - to keep the walls cleaner.

    External nest boxes are my preference. But in a small coop….they will have to walk thru poop, it gets in the boxes and on the eggs. Frequent cleaning of the boxes and under the roosts helps. Wish I had built mine to allow poop trays under the roosts - check out the thread Lotsa Poop or search poop trays.

    5. I plan on my run being 4x12. I live I a very wet area and sometimes my yard has large puddles. I was thinking to help wit mud laying down med size gravel for drainage then added a layer of sand.is this okay for the chickens?

    My run, coop and nest boxes all have sand for litter. Works in my area. But I don't have flooding issue. Rain does blow in but no puddles. I started with 5 X 10 run and added 7X10 ' to give them more room and less stress.
    ************************************
    Bonus question
    I am also a beekeeper and I have two hives which will be close to the coop. Do the bees bother the chickens and/or will the chickens bother the bees?


    I have no experience with raising bees, but have read they can live in harmony with chickens. Mine have cleaned out wasps that try to build inside the coop ( thankful for that). It would seem the bees would have no reason to hang out in the coop or run if no pollen is there. I hope they can eat yellow jackets…guess they do, since rarely have seen those inside the run even with melon treats on the ground.

    ***************

    Please visit the learning centers and explore the coop run forums. Consider posting your coop and brooding questions on those forums.
    Check out the Where am I, Where are You forums, I think there are a lot of folks from Penn on BYC and they can give some advice with local experience.

    Wishing you success in your new adventure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
    4 people like this.
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! sunflour has given you some great advice so I will just wish you the very best of luck with your new chicken adventure.
    Enjoy BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
     
  6. hens4life

    hens4life Out Of The Brooder

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    Welcome to BYC! I am going to try to answer all of these [​IMG]
    I kept my brooder box inside in my living room! It was round so that no chicks couldlike up in the corners and suffocate. It was lined with paper towels the first day so the chicks don't slip, then I switched to newspapers! As long as U clean it out once a week U will be fine:)

    I moved mine out at 5 weeks old, they handled it pretty well as long as they had the heating lamp!

    My dog is right below the chickens at night and beside them all day long when they are awake! She hasn't gone insane yet [​IMG]


    For 6 chicks? I would at least have a 5x5 foot space for just sleeping at night! I have my 7 in a 6x6 feet coop for just sleeping, then when they are awake I let them out to a much bigger space about 10x10 feet then let them outside, I would try to make MUCH more space! If u want your chickens to be as happy and healthy as possible and if u want a good supply of eggs :)

    It rains here a lot also, I let them out no matter what! They love to play in the puddles and drink out of them ( believe it or not ) because it is a fresher substance of water than any faucet water could give them


    First of all, what chickens are u getting? Some are better at handling cold than others. I wouldn't insulate it, it could stop there from being enough fresh air in it and slowly suffocate your chickens. And also a hazard because if u insulate it, in the summer it will become schorchingly hot!

    I'm not sure about bees :( haven had to deal with any yet!! [​IMG]

    Hope I answered a few of your questions :) I hope u succeed in everything

    From
    - an experienced chicken farmer
     
  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I agree with the answers already given.

    Good luck and welcome to the flock!
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Do take advantage of Sunflour's excellent advice, especially getting chicks a bit later so the weather will be conducive to putting them outside sooner.
     
  9. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]
    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home! x2 on all the great advice given to you!
     
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our BYC "flock".

    Sunflour has given you some excellent advice already!
     

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